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Adapting a Skirt Pattern with Designer Details

Draft a military-inspired look
Threads #195, Feb./March 2018
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Enlist your drafting skills to add an overskirt that references vintage army uniforms. Pattern: McCall’s 6993. Fabric: wool twill, Banksville Designer Fabrics, Norwalk, Connecticut.

During a recent online window-shopping spree, I discovered a skirt in a menswear-inspired fabrication that encapsulated some of my favorite style features: a flattering A-line silhouette enhanced with pleats and military-style details. Rather than contend with its nearly $1,800 pricetag, I decided to build some of its details into an existing skirt pattern.

The key element that set this skirt apart was a peplumlike overskirt extending from the waistband to lower hip level, from side front to center back. I started with a gored skirt pattern with side-front and side-back seams and found it easy to add this feature, plus a generous knife pleat at each side-front seam. Follow along to see how I adapted McCall’s 6993, view B, to create the look.

Female modeling the finished overskirt from the back.
The overskirt continues around the back.

Adapt the front and side front

Trace the front and side-front patterns onto paper. Leave space along the side-front edges to add pleat extensions. You’ll be using 5⁄8-inch-wide seam allowances throughout; as you develop the patterns, you’ll remove and replace these in some steps.


Overskirt pattern illustration.1. Lower the waist edge. This skirt pattern has a high waist. On the front, side front, side back, and back, draw the waistline, then add a 5⁄8-inch-wide seam allowance above it. Cut off the excess above the seam allowance.

 

2. Straighten the side-front edge. This seamline has a slight curve; you need to straighten it in order to add a pleat here. With a yardstick as a guide, draw a line connecting the waist edge to the bottom edge. Draw a line 5⁄8 inch inside this cutting line and label it “Pleat foldline.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Add the front pleat extension. Draw a line parallel to and 2 inches out from the side-front edge. Draw another line 5⁄8 inch inside…

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